2018 bike resolutions
by dandyhorse staff
We don't really do resolutions, but the city needs more bike lanes and the world needs more people who ride bikes for transportation in cities... so here's some dandy ideas for bike "resolutions" for 2018 for your consideration. We've also got some top notch suggestions for the City of Toronto on how they can speed up the bike plan implementation.
Warning: This is not going to be one of those new year's list that says you gotta eat healthy (because you already do that) but for sure I've resolved to do more non-bike exercise like yoga. Stretching is important.
We are definitely going to ride somewhere we've never ridden before - and you should too!
It could even be some place outside of Canada. Whether it be CitiBike in NYC or a country road between vineyards in France... there are lots of great places to bike in the world. It will give you a greater appreciation for your own city's bike lanes. Of course, there's lots of fun to be had simply by exploring your own neighbourhood or trail network by bike.
Speaking of the French,why don't you definitely try to watch at least two stages of the Tour de France this year. I know, I know, sports can be such a bore, but the commentators really steal the show sometimes (especially if you can get a bit of Phil Liggett who will say things like “...their eyeballs are really rattling in their sockets now!” It's the world's biggest sporting event and the biggest bicycle stage race. The combination of stunning aerial and vistas views are incredible....so it's fun to watch, even if you aren't into the race itself (which is very entertaining.) It's also one of the only remaining sports that truly values sportsmanship. In Canada we have the Grand Prix Cycliste in Quebec at the end of the summer if you want to see some of the top cyclists competing live it's just a short VIA train trip away.
And if the TdF inspires you, why not go on your own longest ride ever. If you aren't sure where to go or how to get there, you could join a bike club. There are lots now since so many people love cycling.
Of course, at dandyhorse we suggest you also support your local bike advocacy groups and push local governments for more investment in bike infrastructure AKA more bike lanes please!
In Toronto, bike lanes that are needed for 2018 include:
- Danforth (Natch! Everyone wants this!)
- Bloor expansion west from Shaw
- Oh and we must keep an eye on what is happening with the West Toronto Railpath extension south.
Obviously, more can be done in 2018 than those bike lanes listed above. There are bike lanes that the City promises to install at some point over 10 years in their new(ish) bike plan. Here’s what the City has planned for 2018 so far. (Note, this list is subject to change.)
But we thought it would be best to talk to those in the know around town and ask what bike lane projects they think should be prioritized for 2018.
Active Transportation champion Michael Black suggests that the City connecting Bloor at avenue to the Queens Park bidirectional.
Marvin Macaraig, Scarborough Cycles Bike Hub Coordinator says, "the possibilities are endless" but his top wishes for this year include:
- We need to start talking about Kingston Rd. and Danforth Ave.
- Midland Ave. cycling infrastructure is sorely needed, as there are limited north-south options in Scarborough.
- Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail improvements would be nice. Better way finding on the trail is needed, similar to what was recently implemented on the lower Don River Trail.
- A lot of east-end riders who come through our hubs bemoan that the separation (bollards) on the Bloor Viaduct is seasonal. It really should be permanent.
And from the fine folks at the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) – Nancy Smith Lea, Yvonne Verlinden, and Trudy Ledsham to be precise – we have these biketastic wishes for 2018:
- Bloor Street between Sherbourne and Avenue Rd. Right now the bike lane goes from Broadview to Sherbourne and then you take your life in your hands to get across to where they restart.
- Danforth would be a game changer--but only if it joins the rest of the Bloor lanes.
- Elizabeth St. south of Gerrard (…such a small yet annoying gap).
- Bay Street (it's interesting that you can't get to City Hall by bike. You can get to within 140m of it (on Richmond) or 180m (on Bay), and then you're left to fend for yourself for the final stretch. Bay is on the 10-year Network Plan, but we’re not sure when it's supposed to happen.
- Eglinton east of Victoria Park. They're in the process of doing a secondary plan right now for that area (Golden Mile), with the Crosstown going in. It's going to completely change, from being parking lots to being condo towers, and so far the plan includes bike lanes.
- There’s a small bit of trail that is working its way through the approval process that would connect the Gatineau Corridor with the Don Valley Trail - that would be an impressive link to see completed this year.
- Overlea Blvd. from Don Mills to Millwood to O'Connor
The TCAT folks added this:
“The 10-year cycling plan would add 525 km of biking facilities, and was originally estimated to cost $153.5 million.
The province just gave the city $25.6 million for 2018 which is 17% of their total 10-year budget. So 17% of those 525 km is 89 km, which could be added to the 1/10th of the bike plan that was to built in 2018, originally. This would give a total of 141.75 km to be built in 2018. (I know we're dreaming, but the province's money is new money.)”
“It would also be fantastic to see one of the suburban community council areas targeted in a meaningful way. (Scarborough anyone?) Over 70% of the city's population lives in the three suburban community council areas so why not have 70% of the new km in the community council areas? So, 99 km for the suburban community council areas and 42 km in the core in 2018.”
Other ideas the TCAT team suggests for targeting would be around the suburban universities:
[Bike infrastructure should be added to] UTSC around the Pan Am Centre and the HP Health Sciences campus. Joining this area to Lawrence Galloway with lanes along Morningside, Lawrence and Ellesmere would provide access from high needs neighbourhoods to cultural resources. Additionally, it would serve the many students who live in that area and who are currently unable to get to basic services using active transport. It would be great to see a similar project around York too.
- Ride new places
- Take time to stretch (or do yoga or whatever non-bike exercise, like walking even, that floats your boat)
- Watch a race (like the TdF or the Grand Prix Cycliste in Quebec)
- Take a basic bike mechanics course
AND MOST OF ALL:
- Support bike lanes in your city/neighbourhood! Write to your councillor and post your experiences online to show the powers that be you are biking it and liking it!
Related on dandyhorsemagazine.com
City of Toronto 2018 bike plan installations list (subject to change)